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Ethernet Extender - What Does an Ethernet Extender Do?
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December 28, 2007

What Does an Ethernet Extender Do?

By Brian Solomon
TMCnet Web Editor

An Ethernet Extender lets users expand Ethernet connections beyond typical 328-foot ethernet distance limitations. It can establish high-speed, long-range data communication between geographically separated LANs, and is often used for connecting workgroups on separate floors.

A cost-effective alternative to complicated and pricey wiring installations like CAT5 and cable, the Ethernet Extender is a plug-and-play device that can be installed quickly with existing copper twisted-pair network infrastructure. Some models can increase the distance of an ethernet link beyond five miles.

One benefit is the elimination of the necessity for expensive switches and CAT5 cable. The Ethernet Extender uses fiber-optic or copper twisted-pair cables to transparently send packets to a peered LAN up to five miles away at full-line rate. While networks usually deploy the Ethernet Extender within a limited area, it doesn’t have to be limited to one building. The Extender can create connections across streets or over a college or campus and between Ethernet LANs up to five miles apart.

Transmitting over copper wire may not permit fiber-optic speeds, but it allows the use of existing wiring. Copper-based extenders need to be used on unconditioned wire, including unused twisted pairs and alarm circuits. 
Patton (News - Alert) Electronics offers a wide range of Ethernet Extenders, ensuring the highest speeds possible across long distances. Unlike some other LAN extenders, Patton products with auto-rate adaptation can be set for multiple data rates. They also require no difficult configuration when connecting at different distances.
Brian Solomon is a Web Editor for TMCnet, covering news in the IP communications, call center and customer relationship management industries. To see more of his articles, please visit Brian Solomon’s columnist page
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